By: First Union
How Small Business Owners Can Support Working Parents
Employee turnover can be expensive. The cost to replace an employee may cost up to twice as much as that employee’s salary. You’re usually better off doing what you can to retain the employees you have.
One great way to help improve employee retention is to support working parents. Adding a child to your family is an 18+ year commitment. As a result, you should have plenty of policies to support all working parent employees.
Some ways to support working parents can be expensive. However, supported working parents can be some of the most productive employees you could ask for.
Here are a few ways that small business owners can support working parents and improve employee retention.
Have Generous Maternity and Paternity Leave Policies
Mothers are much more likely to return to work after having a child if they have a well-paid maternity leave policy. Which would you prefer: a new mother who quits when her two weeks of paid maternity leave are over? Or one who returns happy and confident after 12 paid weeks and is eager to prove themselves?
Maternity leave is great. However, dads increasingly want to be part of their new child’s life. You should offer paid paternity leave for a new father to spend precious time bonding with his child.
Even though paid maternity or paternity leave can be very expensive, you will save money by retaining happy employees. Dealing with dissatisfied employees or replacing those who quit can be more expensive than paying for leave.
Offer Great Benefits
Many people these days would take a pay cut for better benefits. To attract and retain the best employees, consider benefits like flexible working hours, the chance to work from home sometimes, or subsidized daycare.
The benefits are likely to attract and keep motivated parent employees. Great benefits can also keep and attract non-parent employees, too.
Respect Their Time
Many working parents already feel like they don’t get to spend enough time with their kids. When possible, schedule meetings during the day rather than after hours. Studies show that happy employees can be more productive in 35 hours than unsatisfied employees may be in 40+ hours.
Better yet, have meetings during lunch and cater food so the employees can skip packing a lunch in the morning. Parent employees want to give as much of themselves as they can to an employer. However, they also NEED to give as much time to their children as possible.
Set a Good Example
Do you try to encourage your parent employees to use their vacation time and limit their hours? Meanwhile, you work at least 12 hours a day and haven’t had a vacation in years? You must set a good example for your employees.
It doesn’t matter what benefits your company offers if you subconsciously make people feel like they can’t use them. Put your money where your mouth is, and take advantage of every parent perk offered to your employees.
Employees who aren’t parents may be resentful of what they perceive as special favors for new parent employees. Encourage them to listen to their coworkers and understand how much time, effort, and money go into raising a kid. Having childless employees making parents feel bad, even unintentionally, can be terrible for morale.
People who don’t have kids can’t really understand what a big task parenthood can be. Encourage a company culture of empathy and explain some of the challenges that parenthood brings.
Talk about Their Goals
Some parents may want to stall their careers and focus on their kids for now. Other parents may be as determined as ever to climb the corporate ladder. You won’t know unless you ask. Whichever path your parent employees want to take, make sure you support them as much as possible
When you have kids, things happen. Kids get sick, they have doctor and dentist appointments, the teachers want to talk to you. Allow your working parent employees to handle all these things along with their current workload.
Flexible time and working from home can be great options that allow your employees to be more productive. Limiting workdays to weekdays from 8 to 5 is limiting. Working parents may be more productive working four 9-hour days or working a slightly different shift every day.
You may not want your employees to work from home regularly. However, kids get sick. Allowing working parents to work from home when they have a kid home sick from school can increase productivity.
Don’t Forget Non-Parent Employees
Employees who don’t have children may be resentful of what they perceive as “special treatment” for parents. Look for ways that childless employees can take advantage of parental benefits.
For example, you could allow employees to use “parental leave” to take care of an ailing parent rather than a new baby. Flex time also tends to help everybody be more productive; not just parents.
Find ways to let your non-parent employees know that you value them as much as the working parents. Talk to them to see if there are comparable benefits you could offer them to reduce jealousy.
It’s crucial that all your employees feel appreciated, and nobody seems to get preferential treatment. While you need to accommodate working parents, don’t neglect your other employees.
Need a Loan to Fund These Solutions?
Supporting working parents usually pays for itself in the long run. However, some policies can be expensive to implement at first. If you need a loan to help support your working parent employees, consider First Union Lending.
With 9 loans to choose from, First Union is sure to have a way to help you implement expensive new policies. Loans can get approved as soon as the same day. Also, applying for a loan with First Union won’t affect your credit.
To talk to a lending specialist, call 863-825-5626 or click here. Our financial experts will help you find the right loan for your situation.